Internet users across the world are growing increasingly apprehensive about the rise of so-called ‘fake news’, a survey has revealed.
The BBC World Service polled people in 18 countries and found that 79% are concerned about the amount of fluid mendacity awash on the super information lieway.
Interestingly, the only two countries from which a majority of responders said they’d like to see governmental regulation of the internet were China (though, as they already regulate the internet, I suspect it was the Chinese government doing at least some of the responding)…and Britain.
Additionally, the survey found that people are becoming more uneasy about expressing opinions online, with 53% saying they didn’t feel great about it (up from 49% in 2010) – and if you’ve spent any time reading comments on the internet, you may agree that this might not be such a bad thing.
The poll also found some key differences between male and female net fans. Men are keener web users, with 78% saying they’d used it in the last six months, while 71% of women said they had. Women are also more concerned about both expressing their views online and ‘fake news’.
The survey of 16,000 people was carried out by polling firm Globescan, whose chairman, Doug Miller, said: ‘These poll findings suggest that the era of ‘fake news’ may be as significant in reducing the credibility of on-line information as Edward Snowden’s 2013 National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance revelations were in reducing people’s comfort in expressing their opinions online.’
Personally, I’m not sure what the key differences are between online ‘fake news’ and the daily contents of the British press, but what do I know? Bendy bananas, anyone?
Read the proper BBC report here.